49% of students surveyed admitted their mental wellbeing declined after leaving university.
That's a lot of people to be anxious about life beyond Uni.
As great as it feels to finish that last exam, hand in your final dissertation and walk out of the lecture halls for the FINAL time, the prospect of entering the ‘real world’ can induce some serious anxiety.
It’s no small feat to graduate. It marks the end of what you’ve been working towards for most of your education, ‘The Degree’. But now you’ve ticked that off your list, you might find yourself feeling a little underwhelmed and potentially even lost. So, how do you overcome these feelings? The best way is to start planning your future and get proactive about kick-starting your post-grad career.
We’ve put together our top 5 tips on the steps to take to get going with your life after Uni and how you can make the most of your position as a graduate.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Figuring out what you want to do with your life is no small feat, so don’t treat it as though it needs to be figured out in a day. For some people, it takes decades before they find what they want to ‘do for the rest of their lives’, these things take time. So relax, and enjoy the ride… But in the meantime, dive into some industry research and see where it is you think you’d like to start. Maybe you want to do something related to your degree of discipline? Or maybe you loved doing your degree, but you’re ready to move onto something else. Either way, what are you waiting for?
CREATE A PERSONAL BRAND
What the hell is a personal brand I hear you cry? In times gone past, your ‘personal brand’ meant sharing a bunch of business cards with people you met at events, conferences or social gatherings.
The development of social media and digital tech has taken personal branding to a whole new level. With candidate competition fiercer than ever before, you HAVE to get creative about promoting your value to businesses if you stand a chance of even being considered for a role.
In the simplest of terms, personal branding is your one-way self-promo ticket to the post-grad career you’ve been working your ass off for. It needs to represent WHO you are, your SKILLS, any experiences (volunteer or paid off) that add value and above all, it needs to be AUTHENTIC.
Faking it ‘til you make it just doesn’t work anymore.
DON’T ASSUME YOUR CV WILL BE READ
You’ve followed ALL the advice Google has to offer. You’ve painstakingly updated your CV for each role you’re applying for and craft a professional, yet to the point cover letter informing the Hiring Manager as to why they should meet you. But then you hear nothing. Crickets.
Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
Why does this keep happening? You ask yourself. Probably because the Hiring Manager never actually saw your CV. The trouble with applying for roles these days is in most instances a Recruiter or AI-driven bot spends 10 seconds or less scanning over applicant CV’s to decipher who makes the cut and who does. So, how do you make an impact in less than 10 seconds?
Well, first of all, you get your CV straight. Download our template here.
Secondly, don’t rest your laurels on that one application. Working with a recruiter like Talentskowt can help, as recruiters have direct access to Hiring Managers and can make sure your background is not only seen but is seriously considered. And trust us, you want a recruiter fighting your corner. It's a competitive post-grad job market out there.
Finally, you can find the hiring manager on Linkedin, connect with them and drop them a note via InMail letting them know you applied and why you think you’re the right person for the job. Getting in touch directly might not get you the job, but it will get you NOTICED and help get a foot in the door. The rest is up to you.
Post-graduate job hunting life is not all cupcakes and rainbows.
Now, we’re not telling you to depress you, we’re telling you to be PREPARED. Whilst a lucky bunch of students will find jobs easily soon after graduating, the bulk majority will have to deal with A LOT of rejection before landing that coveted post-grad job. Getting rejected from job application and interview can knock the wind out of your sails – rejection is a bitter pill to swallow, no matter the circumstances and some industries are more ruthless than others.
So, out advice? Be prepared. A rejection isn’t a failure, it’s a helpful milestone in narrowing down your options to landing that post-grad job. Embrace the positive influence of rejection and let it fuel your desire to get to where you want to go.
"And seen for the wonder I am… Yes, my teeth and ambitions are bared… Be prepared!" – Scar, The Lion King.
Ok, maybe a poor reference given his untimely demise at the hands of his Hyeana minions, BUT you get the point.
Preparation is the ONLY rule that we won’t waiver on. If you aren’t prepared, you cannot be taken seriously as a potential candidate and thus you can pretty much guarantee you will NOT get that job you’re after. To get you started, we’ve put together an Interview Checklist and Questions to Ask the Interviewer to help you prepare.
So there you have it. Being worried about life post-Uni is completely normal but don't let it cripple you, stopping you from getting what you've been working all these years for. Your career.